BREAKING: DeCoite of Molokaʻi Appointed to Fill House Vacancy
By Wendy Osher
Governor David Ige today announced his appointment of Lynn DeCoite to serve as Representative of State House District 13, which includes East Maui, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe and Molokini.
DeCoite lives in Hoʻolehua on Molokaʻi where she is an owner of L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J.’s Snacks and co-owner of V-8 Ranch. In 2012, she won the First Annual Kāʻanapali Fresh Best in Show, and in 2007 she won the Maui County Mayor’s Small Business Award.
In addition to her business enterprises, DeCoite community involvement includes service as chairperson of the Farm Service Agency for Maui County and president of the Molokaʻi Homestead Farmer’s Alliance.
Maui County Democratic Party Chair Troy Hashimoto commended the Governor’s selection saying, “I look forward to Ms. DeCoite bringing her unique perspective to the State Capitol as possibly the only legislator who is also a working farmer. Although she has large shoes to fill, I have confidence she will be a strong advocate for not only one of the most diverse, but also geographically large districts in the State.”
DeCoite fills the vacancy created by the resignation of the late Rep. Mele Carroll, who passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 18, following a battle with cancer.
DeCoite was among 13 applicants considered for the seat, and among three finalists that were reviewed by the governor. Other finalists included Lori Buchanan of Molokaʻi and Lucienne De Naie of Huelo, Maui.
Hashimoto continued saying, “In my mind, her appointment is also very historic, as Maui County has not had a person from Moloka‘i serving in the state legislature in recent memory. Attending the selection interviews on Moloka‘i this past Saturday, there was a sense of excitement in the air and this news will no doubt bring pride and joy to the island.”
DeCoite is a former board member of the Molokaʻi Planning Commission and former PTSO President for Molokaʻi Middle School. She was also part of the Molokaʻi Workforce Development Agricultural Working Group.
DeCoite plans to resign from her post on the State Board of Agriculture, a position she has held since 2012, to take up her new responsibilities as a state lawmaker.
“I thank the House District 13 Nominating Committee for forwarding three outstanding individuals for consideration and for working so quickly to get the names to me. It’s important that the residents of this district are represented without delay,” said Governor David Ige in a press release announcement.
“I’m confident Ms. DeCoite knows the issues facing the district and will listen to her constituents to address their concerns,” Ige said. “She has deep roots in the community and is committed to overcoming the challenges by forming partnerships and working collaboratively.”
“I’m deeply honored to serve the community in this capacity,” DeCoite said in the announcement. “This is an opportunity for me to help address issues like drought, food gathering and security, emergency response programs, and the promotion of economic development for small and large businesses,” she said.
DeCoite will be considered officially in office after she takes the oath of office and is qualified and seated by the House of Representatives.